This is Audrey.
Isn't she lovely?
She's my grandma. She's funny, resourceful, ironic, talented, loving, loyal, and beautiful.
She has lived through so much. In her eyes all those years, the difficulties, are beginning to show. All my life she was unflappable. She was the rock for her children, her many siblings, nieces and nephews, her friends. She would come up with money, resources, whatever was needed. She never pursued personal goals, or dreams. Her only purpose was survival and the survival of those she loved. She never pampered herself, spoiled herself, she never did anything for herself. never. She never spent an extra dollar on some silly thing. She never took herself on a trip. She never pursued romance. She loved and married my grandfather. He broke her heart. She remarried briefly and was widowed. She never stopped loving or hating my grandfather in equal parts. She lived nearly all her life without a partner. She never got a driver's license.
Her life revolves around those she loves, it always has. Her happiness has been intimately linked to how much she is needed, her value on how what she can do for others.
She is loved so dearly. Time with her and memories of her are like a warm blanket to me and I know to everyone in my family. I wonder though if she feels that love? She has given so much of herself, emptied herself so completely that her love can never be matched in return. It isn't possible to compete with her in sacrifice.
She is a link in a chain of women in my family who sacrifice themselves, body and heart, for their family.
I need to learn from her new lessons. She has taught me so much throughout my life - cooking, flowers, sewing, cards, but I realize in spending time with her this week she has far greater things to teach me.
I pray only for the time to learn all she has to offer and the wisdom to understand it.
I love you Grandma.